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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Press release for Coast to Crest 24 hour race

It's 2 am and we're heading back to the finish/staging area to get ready to receive the first finishers in the early morning hours when one of the SPOT units sends out a "we need help" signal. No! After 18 hours of setting up transition areas, checking in with minor injuries (hamstrings are a big problem), and helping motivate our already stoked competitors, this is the first time we're genuinely worried about a team. Sure, there were some seasickies on the kayak, and a couple teams bonked on the first stage bike ride, but all in all, the race was going smoothly. The competitors were spread out far and wide but we were keeping tabs on them with GPS, radioing to our manned checkpoints, and our manifests. But at 2 am the signal goes out. We're about an hour away from the point we'd have to get to in order to start looking for the team that needs help. As we're logging into the ranger stations' computers to find the exact location and team, the help call is canceled.

And thus goes All Out Events' first 24-36 hour adventure race.

Our teams met up at Santa Margarita Lake, dropping off bins and bikes that would be trucked to the various transition areas they'd need them throughout the race, and they boarded a bus for an hour-long ride to the beach.

Winding through the coastal mountains, through eucalyptus groves, and arriving at a beautiful cove, the kayaks were laid out and our racers set to preparing themselves for one heck of a long day.

After an eight-mile open-ocean kayak (well supported by local rescue organizations and fortuitously, a blue whale), racers landed at a beach in Morro Bay where they hopped on their bikes for a long climb and a fun, fast single-track descent leading into the area's college ag land.

The run transition area was set up at Cal Poly's poultry unit, where racers could stop, take a break, and go back into the hills they came from. Said one member from Team Hilarious, hailing from Calgary, Canada, "That was the second-best mountain biking I've ever done!" Her teammates then decided to weigh the merits of whether it was more like the best or not.

Racers came in looking tired, but stoked. Some stayed for an hour, some took off right away at a jog. We didn't see them until many hours later in the dark - fifty miles away at Lopez Lake, where they picked up their kayaks for a lake trip and then their bikes for another epic tour of the mountains.

Our first team came in just under 6 a.m. - Team DART/Nuun/SportMulti, a world-class adventure racing team. Teams trickled in from there, with our last team finishing at 2 p.m. Results are posted here:

Out of a field of 13 teams, we had 5 non-finishers. Though healthy respect goes out to all our DNFers, most especially SLO local Ryan Tarver from Hopes and Dreams, who kept up with the winning team throughout the first three stages of the race before deciding he would bow out.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Watch our 24-36 hour Coast to Crest race live!

Thanks to and SPOT rescue units, you can log into the site below and watch the fun along with us!

password: "slovenia"

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tips for an awesome Tri (good for adventure racers, too!)

So yesterday we went and cleared some of the poison oak the 24-hour race trek. I am not going to lie, that section is beautiful. You won't feel like you're in California. And, if you're like me, and you spent your youth exploring creek beds and rivers, you are going to feel so energized by the entire thing. If you are planning on doing this race try to time it so you go during the day. It's worth seeing.

Anyway, I follow a couple fitness blogs and had to direct you to The Fitness Nerd today, who sent me to "That's Fit" for an article with tips on tri training. Check it out: Top 10 Tips for Your First Tri.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

1st Annual ECOSLO Triathlon is in the can!

The weather was perfect: clear skies, only a hint of a breeze, clear water, and temps in the low 70s. For Morro Bay, it doesn't get more perfect than that. The day before, a lot of registrants were hesitant about the swim in the bay, only to pop out after it and declare, "That wasn't so bad." By the end of the day, their comments escalated to "that was awesome!"

The first annual ECOSLO Olympic Distance triathlon generated a fair amount of money for the San Luis Obispo-based organization, which is great because many events are happy to break even their first year. We had about 200 participants and far more spectators in and out throughout the day not just because of supportive family and friends but because of the tourist-friendly location of the event. Many volunteers signed on to help the day before hailed from places like Indiana and Texas because they thought the event's venue looked cool and they wanted to do more than lay on the beach on this idyllic June Sunday.

Participants started the race, in waves of fifty, by swimming 1.5 km in a slack tide out toward the channel's entrance to the ocean, around the smiley-faced bouys and back to the shores. Water was in the low fifties and Morro Bay's harbor patrol mandated wetsuits for the swimmers, but none looked worse for wear after - more like energized! They got through the transition area, filled up on Heed and Hammer Gels and headed out on a 40 km classic local ride that took them down Highway 1, through the local community college and out into the rolling, rural hills of San Luis Obispo. Foothill Cyclery provided race aid to the cyclists and even placed volunteers in their support van. Once they were back, they headed back out again to finish the race - jogging along the famous Morro Bay beaches for 10k. The beach run took them over hardpacked sand and rocky shores to an aid station turnaround and back to the finish, greeted by the lovely ladies of FRS with recovery drinks and smiles.

Our overall winner was professional and local triathlete Van McCarty, coming in at 2:18:32. Behind him were Scott Smith (in 2:21:04) and Anthony Barton (2:24:22). Overall women winners were Christine Bare (2:42:59) followed by Kim Schollenberger (2:46:22) and Mary Kelly Dakin (2:48:40). Winners were awarded prizes by supporters Smith Sunglasses, Xterra Wetsuits, Voler, and more. All division placers were awarded an etched glass stein and a Morro Bay Triathlon bike jersey by Voler.
When it was all said and done, participants and spectators were invited back to the beer garden for some refreshing Sierra Nevada pale ale.

Overall the race went great and we're sure to be back next year! In the meantime, watch for us on June 19 & 20th when All Out Events hosts a second installment of the Central Coast Adventure Challenge: a grueling 24 hour Coast to Crest race and an accessibly fun 2-4 hour sprint!

Photos courtesy of All Out Events' Kristin McNamara and ECOSLO's Clint Slaughter.

1st Annual June 6th ECOSLO Triathlon

ECOSLO hosts inaugural Olympic Distance Triathlon on June 6th

ECOSLO, in partnership with local event company, All Out Events, hosts an Olympic Distance Triathlong on Sunday, June 6th, starting at 8 am. An Olympic Distance triathlon consists of a 1.5k swim, 40k road bike, and a 10k run. The event will take place in Morro Bay (those not interested in swimming will be offered a kayak option - something quite uncommon for most races), up highway 1 and through the rolling hills of San Luis valley, finishing with a run on the beach.

ECOSLO hopes the event will generate annual funds to continue their mission to create and support resilient, natural, healthy systems and lifestyles in San Luis Obispo. The event will be as low impact on the environment as possible, thanks to an ongoing commitment by All Out Events, and for this reason, they make an excellent pairing for the central coast in terms of support and mutual goals achieved. In addition to being a fundraiser, the event planners have taken the following steps to create as low an impact event as possible:
-No disposable cup policy (participants get reusable souvenir pint glasses)
-Our event is powered by the sun thanks to REC Solar’s solar trailer
  • -In addition to garbage cans we offer recycling and composting receptacles
  • -All race merchandise is organic and or locally sourced
  • -All food vendors are required to use recyclable and or compostable paper and plastic-ware
  • -Encouraging carpooling by holding a raffle exclusive to carpoolers
We have vendors and sponsors who will be in attendance, a beer garden, and great food provided by the Burrito Wagon and Vraja's Vegan Kitchen. Spectators and racers alike will have an amazing healthy, ecofriendly June Sunday on the central coast.

May CCAC event wrap-up

Well, we had an awesome race again this year - the weather agreed with us, the plans went as we'd hoped, and the volunteers did an amazing job with their tasks.

The Dawn to Dusk race this year saw solos Fred Watson and Kevin Cooper finish first together (they're the guys holding the FRS, which they were quite happy to partake in after the were done), but because of our rules, four-person co-ed team True Grit picked up the bonus fifteen minutes and won our race overall in 10 hours, six minutes. This year's course featured about eight miles of kayaking, 30 miles of mountain biking (most of it single track), and 10 miles of trekking, including rappelling a slot canyon and crossing the lake with a rope bridge. Finishers were treated to complimentary custom burritos and all-you-could-drink Sierra Nevada pale ale. The night ended pretty quickly for our racers, and everyone had a smile on their face, even the only DNF team who got horrifically lost - but that's the screws when the race relies on serious navigation skills!

Our sprint was fun as always, and our third place solo from Dawn to Dusk took on a partner and won this race in the two person co-ed division: congratulations to Team Synergy (Katie and Garett). The sprint consisted of a kayak leg, a bike leg, and a trekking leg. One racer was overheard to say, "What, this is an off-road triathlon!" only to finish saying, "THAT WAS AMAZING!" No surprise to us, race director Yishai Horowitz works hard no matter the length or difficulty of the course to give people a truly unique experience in venues that offer the best possible courses.

Our winners enjoyed prizes and racebag goodies from sponsors, and Hammer Nutrition had them going at aid stations, finishing out with a frosty FRS held out by the beatiful demo ladies awaiting them with finisher bottles at the end of the race.

More photos are available here:

We can't wait to see you there for our second weekend of adventure racing on June 19 & 20, and we'll be out in Morro Bay on June 6th for the inaugural ECOSLO Olympic Distance Triathlon!

YouTube Videos of the May CCAC

6th Annual Adventure Race hits Santa Margarita Lake on May 15th and 16th

The Central Coast Adventure Challenge is back for its sixth year, Saturday, May 15th and Sunday, May 16th. Hailed by National Geographic Adventure Magazine as one of the top five races in the country, and the largest adventure race on the west coast, this years' contestant field is drawing internationally and nationally and should prove to be an amazing event for competitor and spectator alike.

May 15th hosts teams and solo competitors in a Dawn-to-Dusk, 12-hour race taking them through some of the county's most beautiful backcountry. They'll paddle miles of the lake looking for checkpoints; run/hike through rocks, over obstacles, and through poison oak; and bike some thrilling, technical single-track mountain trails to be the first to navigate their way to the finish. Using a map and a compass, they are given a minimum number of check points to reach and strategize how to reach them in as little effort and time as possible.

May 16th we have the more accessible Adventure Sprint - a 2-4 hour race that eliminates the navigation aspect of the prior day's adventure race and explores much less of the beautiful, hilly country. If you can mountain bike, hike, and aren't afraid to try your hand at paddling the lake's open waters, this is one heck of a race. It leaves competitors feeling invigorated, ready to do anything - and really appreciating the beauty of the Central Coast.

This year the CCAC is also hosting a California Adventure Racing Association festival featuring educational clinics for those looking to break into the race or to take it to the next level. Anyone interested is welcome to attend the free clinics on everything from nutrition to night riding.

For more information, please visit: or call Yishai Horowitz, event director: 805.541.0401

San Luis Mountain Run 10k Race Report

It was cool and grey, but fast racing weather on dry, well-marked trails. After the pre-race meeting, everyone lined up along the start-tree, flanked by proud Salomon flags, and the airhorn signaled the start throughout San Luis Obispo valley. Runners took off, just as a fine mist began to fall, but the kind of mist that motivates, not dampens, spirits.

The first racers approached the finish, laced with volunteers ready to take their bib tags and hand them a blue Fluid finisher water bottle for a job well done. Kevin Koeper, 31, broke his course record by completing the rugged 10k in 39:57, with Scott Peterson, 42, another past race winner, following him at 44:24. Our first woman finisher came in not long after: Carin Serba, 24, finished in a blazing 48:35 – all smiles and thumbs up.

Despite a reputation for a grueling 10k, there’s plenty of fun for everyone. The trail isn’t just tough, it’s beautiful – along Laguna Lake, across the flats, up the hill and winding its way around one of the more stellar peaks in the valley though grassy single track, tree shaded trails, and rocky fire road. Our youngest racer, Cruz Godar, 9, came in at 1: 48:25, and our oldest, Nova Poff, 73, finished in 1:30:09. Racers enjoyed after-run snacks provided by House of Bread (a San Luis-based bakery) along with more traditional fare such as oranges and bananas.

Awards were held promptly at 11:00 am, with great prizes like shoes from Salomon and insoles from SOLE. All in all, it was a great launch for All Out Events’ 2010 race season. We’ll see you next year for our fifth-annual race!

Photos are available here: